Industry veteran Anderson finding success for dealers with lending options
Former road racer Jim Anderson began his career in the powersports industry in 1987. A quarter-century later, he knows that providing customers with lending opportunities is still a challenge for dealerships.
As the founder of Go Pro Powersports Services, Anderson is aiming to put an end to sales that are lost due to a lack of financing options for consumers.
“It’s not just a job, this is a passion of mine,” said Anderson, based in Kemp, Texas. “I’ve worked at some of the smallest dealers out there to some of the biggest in the world, and everything in between. One thing I’ve noticed is a lack of consistent lending for the dealers, especially with the independents, who normally don’t have any lending sources. They give the customer a bill of sale, send the customer out the door and hope they come back, which is just wrong.”
Anderson, who most recently worked at Napalm Motorsports in Austin, Texas, saw an opening in that marketplace, and GPPS was launched in January 2010. GPPS has now released a revolving program with The HELPcard that targets prime to sub-prime buyers. It’s available to dealers exclusively through GPPS.
Anderson spoke with Powersports Business about the program, and how it can benefit dealers.
PSB: What exactly is the program?
GPPS: It’s a line of credit that we started out in beta format and we’re now launching it nationwide. From good credit to not-so-perfect credit, we’ll do it all. If the dealer gets the customer approved on the The HELPcard and doesn’t close him right, he can’t go shop anywhere else with that credit line. It’s exclusive to that dealership.
PSB: How successful was the beta launch?
GPPS: We had three dealerships in Florida, the No. 1 retailer in the state of Texas with five dealerships, the world’s largest dealership in California, and other scattered throughout the country as well. Dealers are always looking for more options for their buyers because there just aren’t very many in today’s marketplace. So it’s been very well accepted.
PSB: What types of buyers are finding success with your program?
GPPS: The stuff that other lenders are turning down, we’re getting the first look at, and getting the performance that dealers are looking for. It’s not designed to go head-to-head with great companies that have great programs for people with great credit. We’re looking to help those that need a second chance.
PSB: What happens when a dealer decides that this is a program for them?
GPPS: Upon their enrollment with GPPS, I provide the different lenders that I work with their products — what they sell and the state they do business in. When a customer walks in, it’s as simple as filling out a credit app, the dealer punches it in online, and an instant decision is provided right there, and he can print the contract. It’s a charge slip, so it’s real fast. They can use it not just on major units, but in other departments as well.
PSB: What’s an example of a buyer who has been helped by The HELPcard?
GPPS: One of the dealers in Florida had a lady buy a Ninka ZX-14. She wanted new pipes, extended warranty, all kinds of stuff. Her lender would give her the advance on the bike, but none of the other stuff she wanted. So she put the extended warranty and GAP on the bike with that lender, and all the accessories and gear was through us. The dealership maximized their deal and was able to fund it because they had The HELPcard.
PSB: What kind of feedback are you getting from beta dealers?
GPPS: They want us to buy even deeper than we’re buying. As we see more volume, it’ll be a case of we’ll throw it against the wall and see what sticks. What’s the worst thing that can happen — the customer walks out the door. Well, they’re already leaving. I’ve been in the business forever, and this has been needed forever.
PSB: You’ve been in some important positions at highly successful dealerships. What’s the main issue with dealers working with lending institutions?
GPPS: The biggest obstacle with powersports dealers is the powersports dealer. They should understand that lenders are there to lend money, so argue for your customers in a professional manner. Screaming and hollering isn’t going to help matters.